Rangers International Football Club of Enugu have sealed a place in the the pre-group stage playoffs of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup competition.
This was after they thrashed AS Pelicans of Gabon 3-1 in the return leg match of the second preliminary round on Sunday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Flying Antelopes went through 4-3 on aggregate, having lost 1-2 in the first leg match about two weeks earlier.
The hosts came out fighting immediately after the kick-off and fired a warning shot to the Gabonese side after two minutes.
This was when defender Semiu Liadi directed his headed effort into the side netting from a Chidera Eze free-kick at the edge of the Pelicans penalty box.
But three minutes later, Liadi went into the referee’s book when he tripped goalbound Cruz Ndong Enteghe on the edge of Rangers penalty box.
Dertin Amores wasted no effort and planted a left foot kick into the top corner to give Pelicans a shock lead in the fifth minute.
Having gone behind so early in the game, the Flying Antelopes poured out in numbers, piling series of attacks into their opponents’ vital area in search of goals.
The chances came in trickles but poor decisions in the final third cost them time and again.
Their efforts were, however, rewarded in the 19th minute when Ifeanyi George took advantage of a moment of indecision between Pelicans’ defenders and the goalkeeper to head in the equaliser.
Rangers grew in confidence, dominant in their play and had an appeal for a penalty kick waved away by the referee when Tope Olusesi went to the ground inside the box under a slight challenge.
But the ball came back gloriously to George who fired inches over the crossbar when he should have scored.
Both sides went into the half-time break on equal terms with the visitors holding a 3-2 aggregate advantage.
Rangers came back in the second period more dominant as highlighted by two quick goals.
Nnamdi Egbujuo headed in from a corner kick five minutes after the restart to give the hosts a 2-1 lead and 3-3 on aggregate.
Five minutes later, Oluwatoyin Olawoyin made it 3-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate for Rangers when he scrambled in the ball during a goalmouth tussle.
Coach Benedict Ugwu refreshed his team’s attack early in the second half, leading to the rush of goals, with the introduction of Chinonso Ezekwe for Chidera Eze.
He later substituted veteran Bartholomew Ibenegbu for Kenechukwu Agu as the home side pressed for more goals.
With 12 minutes left on the clock, Pelicans forward Odile Ombio forced a fantastic save from Rangers goalkeeper Japhet Opubo, following a cross from the right flank.
With the 3-1 advantage on the night, Rangers resorted to game management and defended in numbers to contain the now adventurous Pelicans strikers to run away victors at the end of a pulsating encounter.(NAN)
Husband of Slain Kenyan Runner Tirop Seeks Plea Bargain
The husband of slain Kenyan distance runner Agnes Tirop is seeking a plea bargain after initially denying a charge of murder, his lawyer said yesterday.
Tirop, a rising star in the world of athletics, was killed last October in her home in Iten, a high-altitude training hub in western Kenya for top runners.
Emmanuel Ibrahim Rotich was arrested after a dramatic late-night chase the day after Tirop’s body was found with stab wounds, and has been in custody ever since.
The 41-year-old denied a charge of murder at a November court appearance.
But in the latest twist in the legal saga, his lawyer Ngigi Mbugua told the Eldoret High Court that Rotich was willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of attracting a more lenient sentence.
The prosecution said it was not against the idea of a plea bargain but wanted Tirop’s family to be involved in the process.
A hearing on Rotich’s request will take place on 22 September.
Ganduje Appoints Galadima Acting Kano Pillars Chair
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has appointed Ibrahim Galadima as acting Chairman of Kano Pillars Football Club.
The appointment is with immediate effect, the governor said.
Surajo Shuaibu Yahaya who had chaired the club was relieved of the job.
The appointment of Galadima who is Chairman of Kano State Sports Commission to oversee activities of Kano Pillars is part of routine exercise in sports administration of Ganduje, a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Abba Anwar said yesterday.
“As Kano Pillars is facing more competition in National Premier League (NPL) it will be good to have a leadership that will perfectly lead the Club.”
“Ibrahim Galadima, Chairman of Kano State Sports Commission, will now replace the current Chairman of Kano Pillars FC, Surajo Shu’aibu Yahaya.
“Galadima will serve in acting capacity, before the appointment of a substantive Chairman,” Ganduje said.
FIFA Emerges Best Global Sports Federation on Governance Standards
By Eze Okechukwu, Abuja
FIFA has been rated among the international sporting federations with the best standards of governance following a review conducted by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.
FIFA was among seven out of 33 international federations who achieved a score of 175 points or more out of 200 and were placed in the top group, A1, which the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations described as “an exclusive group”.
The federations were divided into five groups according to their score, with the target score, regarded as satisfactory, set at 130 for full members of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.
It was the fourth such review conducted by by the association, with FIFA also placed among the leading international federations and the previous was in the year 2020.
The aim of the project, led by ASOIF’s Governance Task Force, is to promote and ensure a culture of good governance within the international federations and help drive continuous progress.
The review looked at five aspects of governance – transparency, integrity, democracy, development and control mechanisms – and these were further divided into ten sub-sections, with a score of zero to four awarded for each.
The review began with a self assessment in January and February this year where international federations were asked to complete a questionnaire and determine a score for each question, providing explanatory evidence for their decision. These assessments were then independently moderated by an external sports governance consultancy.
The assessment took place in the context of the ongoing global pandemic, which has severely affected sport, but was conducted before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has caused more uncertainty in the sporting world.
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